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Rock hunting craze keeps growing in Franklin County

Pokemon Go is Pokemon Gone. So 2016.

Say hello to the new craze—painting and hunting rocks. Welcome to 2017.

That's right--rocks. And if you don't believe it's catching on, check out the Facebook page “FC Rocks,” with more than 2,750 members. The site was started by Red Bay resident Christina Hamm and her husband Tom. The Hamms visited Florida and found some decorated rocks on their trip. They returned home to Red Bay and, according to an interview with the Red Bay News, painted 30 rocks and hid them around the community. Little did they know, they had created a craze in Franklin County.

Painted rocks are hidden everywhere across the county. Businesses have joined in, some offering prizes for those who find their decorated rocks. But rock hunting isn't about winning prizes. It's about spreading kindness across the community and bringing smiles to young faces, one rock at a time. Families are spending time outdoors hunting for rocks. You can't play a video game while you're outside looking for painted rocks.

If you want to join in the fun, it's easy. First, request to join the FC Rocks Facebook page so you can post rocks you find. (Part of the fun is seeing your rocks found and posted on the page). As far as supplies, you need rocks, acrylic paint, paint brushes and sealer. When each rock is painted, label the back of them with “FC Rocks” so the person who finds it knows where to post the photo of the rock. Then decorate, hide and wait.

There are some rock painters who enjoy posting photos of their rocks online with clues as to where they can be found. Remember when you find a rock to post a picture online, then hide the rock once again so someone else can enjoy finding it.

Rocks have been decorated with school logos and colors, animals, Bible verses, emojis, funny faces, inspirational sayings and much more. You might find a rock shaped like a slice of pizza, a turtle or a chocolate bar.

Active rock hunters say they enjoy spending time with their children and family looking for rocks, and it's a way to get exercise while enjoying the outdoors. Additionally, it's a way of spreading joy and happiness to others when they find rocks you've hidden.

Russellville resident Alisa Pinkard and her kids have jumped feet first into the pool of rock decorating and hunting. She recalled how she first was introduced to the idea.

“We went to my best friend Carla Trapp's house and she invited us to stay and paint rocks. I said 'huh?' But we did and the kids went rock hunting and we all sat down around the table and painted rocks,” Pinkard said. “The next thing you know we had 40-50 rocks painted. It was so much fun. So the next day I went to Walmart and bought $100 of supplies. My kids went rock hunting and it's taken off from there.”

Pinkard said she enjoys the opportunity to spend time with family decorating and searching for rocks.

“It allows you to get outdoors and spend time with the kids away from electronics and it allows you to put  your unique spin on the community,” Pinkard said. “No two rocks are the same. It's just fun. And it has the effect of uplifting everyone's spirits and giving people a reason to smile.

Honestly, we have as much fun as our kids do,” she added.

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